The world of psychotherapy has witnessed many revolutionary thinkers, but few have had the profound influence that Carl Rogers did with his person-centered approach. One of the central tenets of his theory is the powerful role the self plays in healing. In this post, we’ll explore Rogers’ belief in the inherent potential of individuals to find their own solutions and how this impacts the therapeutic journey.

Understanding the Self in Rogers’ Theory

Carl Rogers‘ perspective on the ‘self’ is twofold: the “real self” and the “ideal self.” The real self refers to the person we truly are, while the ideal self is who we want or aspire to be. Healing, according to Rogers, involves bridging the gap between these two selves.

The Innate Drive Towards Self-Actualization

Every individual, Rogers posited, has an inherent tendency towards growth, development, and fulfillment, a process he termed as “self-actualization.” This means that deep down, we all have the answers to our problems; it’s just a matter of uncovering and recognizing them.

The Role of the Therapist: Facilitating, Not Directing

Instead of being a director in the therapeutic process, the therapist in Rogers’ approach is more of a facilitator. Their role is to create a supportive environment where the individual feels safe to explore and understand their feelings without judgment.

Unconditional Positive Regard: A Pillar of Healing

One of the foundational principles of Rogers’ therapy is unconditional positive regard. By offering clients this non-judgmental acceptance, therapists help individuals find their path to healing, guided by their inner wisdom.

Challenges in Recognizing One’s Inner Potential

While Rogers believed in the inherent potential of all individuals, he acknowledged that external factors, past experiences, and societal expectations could cloud one’s judgment and self-awareness. Overcoming these barriers is crucial to harnessing the power of the self in healing.


Carl Rogers’ belief in the self’s role in healing is a testament to the power of human potential. By trusting that individuals have the answers within them and creating a therapeutic environment that nurtures this belief, therapists can guide clients on a transformative journey of self-discovery and healing.

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